Review: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start
“and Nothing is #1”
(OHEV Records)

See, I’m used to seeing the above Nintendo code (if you don’t know that’s the thirty lives code in “Contra” then get the hell out) with “Select” thrown in before the Start, because that makes it a two player game, and how much more fun is two players than solo?  While I’m at it, how much more fun is two singers than just one?  Tons, obviously.  Up Up Down Down employ the ol’ two-mouths-are-better-than-one strategy and do it quite well, balancing the softly serene with the blatantly angry.

And, while most math-rock gets so caught up in its own time signatures and off-kilter nuances that it loses its fun, Up Up Down Down is able to keep a tangible train of thought through their ten tracks.  Starting with their demurely understated “You Landed So Gracefully” and building the tension through to the immediate and forceful “My Argument Precedes Me”, “and Nothing is #1” is a sprawling example of what can happen when math-rock goes right.  If Sweep the Leg Johnny is a little too discordant for you, then dust off your NES and give this thing a few spins.